Another grizzly bear has been found dead in northern Alberta. The adult grizzly is the second to be discovered shot and abandoned in the area this week.
In a Facebook post, Alberta Fish and Wildlife described the bear as a mature male that weighed about 500 lbs. It was found about 15 metres off Red Rock Road, 145 kilometres south of Grande Prairie on Wednesday afternoon.
Like the young bear found in the area on Sept. 15, Fish and Wildlife officers believe the bear was shot at the location it was found.
“There’s nothing to indicate that it was moved from another place and even the body position of the bear would indicate that it was in the same spot when it was shot,” government spokesperson Brendan Cox said on Thursday.
Though two bears were found killed in a similar manner in such a short period of time, Cox said there was nothing to indicate this is an ongoing trend.
“It is still rare to have a grizzly bear unlawfully killed in Alberta,” he said. “It does happen, but the cases are few and far between. It is certainly unusual to have two in such a short time span.”
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Cox wasn’t sure whether there were hunters in the area where the second bear was found, so he was unsure whether officers had spoken with any potential witnesses yet.
“The officers are not going to leave any stone unturned. They are doing everything they can to try and gather as much information as possible about both of these incidents.”
It’s too soon to say whether both bears were killed by the same person or group of people, but Cox said investigators weren’t ruling it out.
“We do need to piece together exactly what lead to this bear’s death because bears are still classified as a threatened species in Alberta,” he said. “It’s our duty to investigate this and we need to get to the bottom of this.”
If convicted, a person who kills a grizzly could face a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or one year in jail.
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Anyone with information about what may have happened is asked to call the district office at 780-538-5265 or the 24-hour Report A Poacher line.
Information can be submitted anonymously.